Lying farther north, the Shark Bay Heritage Area is a small collection of peninsulas featuring amazing coasts. Denham is located in the middle of all of this. Another small town, it attracts many people there to see Monkey Mia or fish for the weekend. There are plenty of sharks in the area, so I don’t recommend a lot of swimming.
A lot of the activities can be done within a day of each other, and it saves a lot of driving back and forth, up and down the peninsulas. Our first stop was Monkey Mia, just to the north of Denham. Here we made one of the bigger mistakes of our trip and missed the dolphin feedings.
If you want to see the dolphins, GET THERE EARLY! The first feeding occurs around 7:45, this isn’t a timed activity; these dolphins are wild and will come into the coast when they are ready. They only feed them 3 times a day (the latest will occur before noon.) There’s a board by the ranger station near the beach, where they keep track of how many feedings they’ve done that day. We misunderstood what was told to us in the first place, and missed out.
After missing the dolphins, we headed back down the peninsula back towards the highway. The Ocean Park Aquarium is a smaller venue, and they have a little café as well. What’s nice about this aquarium is that there is a tour, where you can walk from tank to tank with the guide, if you come half way through, you can stick around for the parts you missed. At the end of the tour, you get to see a live shark feeding.
They have a lot of variety for marine animals. A sea turtle that can get as big as it’s tank, a sea snake, rock fish, and more.
Next is Shell Beach, the entire beach is made of millions of shells. Here I’m holding a handful, and it looks like sand behind me, but think again.
Last in the area are the stromatolites. These layered sea structures are some of the oldest formations on earth, and they are breathing structures, creating oxygen. Some of the oldest ones still bear the trail marks from settlers’ wagons.
After finishing we continued to Carnarvon. It’s not the most exciting town, but it’s a hard drive to get all the way to Coral Bay, so we stopped for the night. They also have the last Woolworths in the area, so it’s a good place to stock up on anything you might be needing.
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